All Blacks legend Bruce Robertson has died, age 71, after a lengthy illness.
The centre made 34 test appearances for New Zealand and 102 in total between 1972 and 1981.
He was a constant at club Counties Manukau and was part of the National Provincial Championship-winning effort in 1979.
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Robertson later took up coaching, assisting the Blues in Super 12 and Northland in the National Provincial Championship.
A statement from the family read, “Bruce’s whanau would like to acknowledge and thank everyone for their love and support at this time.”
The Counties Manukau Rugby Football Union said Robertson was famed for his “speed, silky skills and ability to beat defenders with his trademark swerve” and is “considered by many as the greatest centre in New Zealand rugby history.”
He was voted the greatest player in the history of the club by a panel of judges in 2020.
“We are terribly sad to hear of the passing of one of Counties Manukau’s greatest All Blacks,” said Counties Manukau Rugby Football Union chief executive Aaron Lawton.
“Bruce was an iconic player and a true rugby servant.
“He leaves a lasting legacy at our union and would have been incredibly proud to watch his grandson Jadin pull on the hoops last year.
“We are working with his family now to confirm a service at Navigation Homes Stadium and will release details as soon as possible.”
Robertson is survived by wife Nellie and their six children.
Jadin Kingi, grandson of Robertson, currently plays for Counties Manukau.
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